When I express my opposition to the United State’s wars I’m sometimes met with accusations that I don’t support the troops. This attitude baffles me. How can you better support troops then to remove them from a dangerous place where they regularly run the risk of being stabbed, shot, or blown up? War is Hell. Soldiers from different sides try to kill one another in the name of an ideology or flag. Furthermore the consequences of war don’t stop after the shooting ceases. For many soldiers the aftermath of fighting in a war is so great that they find themselves unable to cope with what they’ve experienced and decide to take their own lives. In fact the number of military suicides in 2012 exceeded the number of military fatalities:
The number of suicides among U.S. Army active duty and reserve personnel in 2012 is higher than the total combined military fatalities from Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan over the same timeframe.
While many people will say that this proves the need for more counseling they aren’t addressing the root of the problem. People end up having to do heinous things in war, things humans have a natural tendency against. A soldier may find himself having to shoot an armed child, call down artillery strikes on areas populated with both enemies and civilians, or even torture suspected enemy combatants. These things take a psychological toll on most people and no amount of counseling can repair such mental scars.
Removing soldiers from the battlefield is the only way to effectively put an end to the ever increasing number of military suicides. If you really want to support the troops advocate an end to these needless wars.